This has been called the “Age of the Customer,” meaning that customers, rather than companies or the executives that manage them, are now in charge. Earlier this year, Forrester Research identified 12 top trends for customer service. FAQ software can play an integral role in supporting firms’ ability to address many of these trends, and thus provide customers with the support they want and need. Let’s look at a few of the major customer service trends and how they can be supported by FAQ software.
Customers demand omni-channel service
Omni-channel is different from multichannel in that it means customers want to be able to communicate over different channels (phone, chat, social media, etc.) even within the same interaction. While voice is still the preferred channel overall, the popularity of self-service, chat, and email are rising. FAQ software provides a self-service option, while also giving customers the opportunity to interact with agents via other channels.
Customer service will adopt a mobile-first mindset
All digital activities are tending toward mobile-first, and customer service is no exception. FAQ software that provides mobile support helps companies to meet this desire and expectation on the part of their customers.
Companies will explore proactive engagement
Even though customers are actively pursuing self-service and independently seeking information, that doesn’t mean companies are relegated to being passive participants. The reporting and analytics features of FAQ software can provide information companies can use to better understand their customers and, as a result, to target their marketing campaigns more accurately.
Knowledge will evolve from purely reactive to giving advice
About two-thirds of customers currently use online self-service tools, like FAQ software, to find answers to questions. Forrester predicts that companies will move beyond just providing answers to supporting conversations, evolving their knowledge resources according to customer demand, and use more unstructured information, such as what comes from social media. Having a solid knowledge management process supported by FAQ software can provide organizations with the foundation they need to effectively expand in these various directions.
Decisioning will power offers, actions, and connections
Companies will use more predictive analytics to recommend content and personalized “next-best actions” to customers. The reporting and analytics function in FAQ software can already provide the information necessary for businesses to take this step.
The agent experience is no longer an afterthought
Customer service agents have a lot of demands placed on them. Companies will work to decrease those demands via actions such as automating certain tasks and making more relevant information available. FAQ software allows customers to find their own answers to commonly asked questions so that agents can spend their time more effectively delivering personalized service to those customers who need it.
Customer service organizations are adopting SaaS solutions for agility
According to Forrester, nearly 40% of companies have already either replaced or complemented their on-premise customer service software packages with online software-as-a-service. SaaS FAQ software is affordable and easy to use, provides a high degree of flexibility, and above all frees up time and resources that can then be concentrated on providing better customer service.
Reliable data at the right time will become a cornerstone of good service
Both customers and the agents who serve them can benefit from having the right information available at the right time. FAQ software helps organize this information so that it can be easily found and accessed, both within and outside of the company.
Customer service is changing, and this change is being driven largely by new demands from the customers themselves as well as companies’ desire to make more of each and every customer interaction. FAQ software can play a large role in helping companies adjust to the new customer service landscape.